U.S. Defense

The Soviets surpass Americans in almost all aspects of nuclear arms development by 1981 or 1982, Richard E. Pipes, Baird Professor of History, said yesterday during a dinner talk at North House.

Pipes, the author of the controversial July, 1977 Commentary article, "Why the Soviet Union Thinks It Could Fight and Win a Nuclear War" said most members of the Carter administration wrongly accept the "theory of mutual destruction" on security questions. The theory contends that neither the United States nor the U.S.S.R. would engage in a nuclear war because such a war would lead to mutual destruction.

Pipes said that from the historical viewpoint, the Soviets idea of mutual destruction and believe they could win a nuclear war, given the necessary offensive and degensive weaponry.

"Our strategic forces are basically frozen," Pipes said, adding that the Soviet Union could paralyze the American stragetic counter attack in the event of a Soviet first strike.

Pipes cited studies that show American casualties resulting from a Russian second strike would be ten times greater than Russian casualties from an American counter attack on a Russian first strike.

"If war ever breaks out in Europe, and the Russians gain ground, we dare not use our nuclear arms," Pipes said, reiterating that the Russians could easily neutralize the U.S. defense.